California State University, Long Beach
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Leadership Fellows Program Honored

Published: November 16, 2015

The third and most recent cohort for CSULB's Leadership Fellows Program.
The third and most recent cohort for CSULB's Leadership Fellows Program.

CSULB’s Leadership Fellows Program was honored with an Excellence and Innovation Award by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). The award honors member institutions for excellence and innovation in several major areas of campus life and leadership that are mission focused. CSULB, which was honored this year in the area of Leadership Development and Diversity, was also a recipient of an Excellence and Innovation Award last year for its efforts to increase graduation rates.

“I’m very impressed with the Leadership Fellows Program, which is doing an excellent job preparing our next generation of university leaders and giving them opportunities to excel,” said CSULB President Jane Close Conoley. “The faculty and staff who participate in the program offer fresh ideas that will advance our mission to ensure student success.”

Created in 2013 by the university’s president and provost, the Leadership Fellows Program strives to develop the next generation of university leaders who can anticipate future trends, respond systemically to critical issues in higher education and advance CSULB’s strategic priorities and goals. The program offers faculty and staff members the opportunity to engage in collaborative dialogue and practice, engage in an individualized curriculum for professional development, link theory to critical issues affecting higher education, and demonstrate leadership through the development, implementation and assessment of a project linked to the university’s strategic priorities and goals.

There are two cohorts of faculty and staff members who have participated in the two-year program. Projects undertaken by the first cohort included graduate studies, performance based funding, scholarships and student success centers. The second cohort is working on projects including the first year student experience, philanthropy, financial literacy of college students and linking study abroad to career development. A third cohort began in October.

“The Leadership Fellows program was a transformative experience that helped me to gain a greater understanding of how our university functions,” said Richard Marcus, a professor in International Studies and director of the university’s Global Studies Institute whose project “Degree Value Student Opportunities” looked at connecting student learning with the professional priorities of the work world. “As a result of the program, I just do my job better.”

The award was presented on Oct. 25 at AASCU’s annual meeting.